Sacrament of Baptism

For parents – Before the Baptism:

  • Parents need to be registered and active parishioners for at least two months before attending baptism seminar. (Register Now)
  • Parents are required to attend the baptism seminar at St. Joseph, whether the child is to be baptized at another church or by another priest. They must attend the seminar at least one month before the baptism. A certificate of attendance is needed.
  • Parents select one or two Catholics in good standing with the church and their parish church to serve as the child’s godparent(s).
    • If you choose to have two godparents/sponsors, one must be male and the other female.
    • Only a catholic can be a godparent sponsoring a child into the Catholic Church. As an exception, if the parents cannot designate a catholic for this important role, one non-catholic who is baptized Christian can be a “Christian witness.” (Note: Only the names of godparents are included in the church’s official records.)

For Godparents – Before the baptism:

  • Sponsors / Godparents must be practicing Catholics and in good standing. Thus we need:
    • Copies of their baptism certificate with all notations of sacraments received (confirmation and marriage).
    • A letter from their pastor stating that he/she is in good standing and active in their parish church.
    • Written proof stating they have been to a baptism seminar (usually a certificate issued by church where the seminar took place).
  • Sponsors / Godparents are required to attend the baptism seminar, preferably with the parents of the child, or in one’s home parish.
  • “Christian witnesses” need to provide the following:
    • Proof of baptism.
    • Letter from their pastor stating they are in good standing and active in their church.
    • Proof of baptism seminar (usually a certificate issued by church where the seminar took place).

Note: if you are going to have you child baptized at another church, you will need all of the above items, plus a letter from your pastor giving permission to have your baby baptized in another parish.

These papers need to be turned in to Dotye Sue Stanford, no less than two weeks before the baptism.

For parents coming from another Catholic Church before the baptism of your child:

  • Parents need to provide the pastor of St. Joseph (or his delegate):
    • Letter from their pastor stating the parents are active and in good standing with the church in which the pastor gives permission that the child can be baptized in another parish.
    • Written proof (usually a certificate) stating that the parents have been to a Baptism Seminar (usually at one’s own parish — you are welcome to attend the Baptism Seminar at St. Joseph).
    • If you have asked your pastor to perform the baptism, your pastor must make the request (in writing) to baptize your child at St. Joseph.

For Godparents – Before the Baptism

  • Sponsors / Godparents must be practicing Catholics and in good standing. Thus we need:
    • Copies of their Baptism Certificate with notation of First Communion and Confirmation.
    • A letter from their pastor stating that he/she is in good standing and active in their parish church.
    • Written proof stating they have been to a Baptism Seminar.
  • Sponsors / Godparents are required to attend the Baptism Seminar.
  • Only a Catholic can be a Godparent sponsoring a child into the Catholic Church. As an exception, if the parents cannot designate a Catholic for this important role, one non-Catholic who is baptized Christian can be a “Christian witness.” (Note: only the names of Godparents are included in the church’s official records.). Christian witnesses need to provide the following:
    • Proof of Baptism.
    • Letter from their pastor stating they are in good standing and active in their church.
    • Proof of Baptism Seminar.

These papers need to be turned in to Dotye no later than two weeks before the baptism.

Those who wish to serve as a sponsor / Godparent for a baptism in the Catholic Church must request a baptismal forms from the parish office. These forms verify that the sponsor has met the requirements for acting as a sponsor, which, in addition to attending a baptismal seminar, the sponsor(s) requirements are as follows: 1) at least 16 years old 2) practicing Catholic with good standing in the church 3) not of the same gender as the second godparent 4) have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation Upon meeting these requirements a Certificate of Baptism with notations should be presented to the baptism coordinator for the parish.

Canon Law regarding Sponsors

Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each. Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must: 1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function; 2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause 3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on; 4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; 5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized. §2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

  • Infant Baptism: according to the laws of the universal Church, a minor child under the age of seven is considered as an infant (Canon 97.1) as well as those who habitually lack the use of reason. (Canon 99).
  • For an infant to be licitly baptized, it is necessary that:
    • at least one of the parents consents to it (or the person that lawfully takes the parents place) and;
    • there is a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Church. For example: formation and continued education in the faith, and participation in the spiritual life of the church community… (Canons 868-869)
  • There should be one (1) Godparent for the person to be baptized (who is not the father or mother of the one to be baptized). (Canons 873, 874.1)
  • IF there are to be two Godparents, they must be of the opposite sex (male and female). (Canon 873)
  • Qualifications of acceptable Godparent (who sponsors the child into the Catholic Church).
    • that he/she be designated by the parents of the person to be baptized; if this designation is lacking, the Pastor or Minister of the Sacrament may designate.
    • that he/she has an intention to carry out the duty;
    • that he/she be at least 16 years of age;
    • that he/she be a Roman Catholic of the Latin Rite (Eastern Rite Catholics are allowed);
    • that he/she has received the Sacrament of Confirmation;
    • that he/she has received the Sacrament of Holy Communion;
    • that he/she be a practicing Catholic leading a life of faith in harmony with the Church;
    • that he/she not be under a lawfully imposed or declared canonical penalty.
  • If there is only one Godparent (who must be Catholic) a “Christian Witness” (Non-Catholic) may also be chosen for the one to be baptized:
    • A baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic ecclesial community ‘may be’ admitted as a “witness” to baptism (the formal title is Christian Witness, not “Godparent.” (Canon 874.2)
    • This privilege applies only to a Non-Catholic belonging to an ecclesial community i.e. Mainline Protestant Church, Greek Orthodox, and other Churches with valid baptisms. A Catholic cannot be a Witness. A non-Christian cannot be a Witness.

Below are the forms regarding necessary information needed in order to have a baptism take place at St. Joseph Catholic Church or to be a Sponsor for a baptism at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Baptismal Record Information

Sponsor Eligibilty Form for Baptism

Our  Baptismal Seminars are held on the first Wednesday of every even month from 6:30-8:30 PM in the Family Life Center Side Room.  A nursery is provided but an RSVP is required. Both parents and Godparents are expected to attend, whether the baptism is in another church or by another priest.  It is best to come to a Seminar at least 3 months before the birth of your child.  Please call Dotye Sue to register and for a short interview before the seminar. 841-8208.

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